This week’s declaration comes from Psalm 118, which I keep coming back to read as if God doesn’t want me to miss something hiding there. Two of the verses in Psalm 118 inspired today’s declaration, which has the power to bring life just by speaking it.
Psalm 118:24 has provided the lyrics to a number of happy, upbeat songs about how today is the day to rejoice and be glad.
Psalm 118:27 tells us God is the Lord and He has given us light.
I find the context of these verses fascinating, because I can hear the struggle to stay focused on God rather than the dire circumstances. I struggle with the same forces that want to rob me of the joy that comes in the light of God’s presence. I can relate to the need to bind the sacrifice with cords so that it doesn’t get away. There are days when the choice to rejoice isn’t easy.
Maybe—like me—you’ve sung at least one version of the words in Psalm 118:24. It’s especially hard to sing “I will rejoice and be glad in it” when the day isn’t a great day. I just got a text from my neighbor as a follow up to her request that I keep an eye out for her beloved black lab Bodie. She found him behind a tree in her backyard, where he laid down for the last time. She chose gratitude in the midst of loss and sadness. I know this because she texted, “I’m grateful he just fell asleep and didn’t have to suffer.”
The words that follow the oft-repeated (and even sung) Psalm 118:24 prove that circumstances weren’t the reason to rejoice.
“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity” (Psalm 118:25 NKJV).
The urgency in the request to save now and send provision now suggest that circumstances were not cause to rejoice. The goodness and mercy of God—the God who gives us light in darkness—is the reason to rejoice today and every day.
I learned a life-changing lesson right before entering into an extremely difficult season of loss and sadness. The lesson is tucked into in a phrase worth writing down.
Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Focus on what you do have and be thankful.
God is good and his mercy endures forever. He is worthy of praise in good times and bad. He has given us the light of his presence. He has given us a reason to rejoice.
If you’re a new listener you probably don’t know about the graphic I design for each episode. It’s perfect for posting to social media. Just visit the podcast page on my website to find and download the graphics. The images change with every episode and contain the declaration for that week.
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This week’s scripture: Psalm 118:24-29